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COMMENTS

Woohoo! This week’s topic comes from angelicad7 from Chicago, who asks

Is there a Korean product(s) you cannot live without and thought “Why wasn’t this introduced back home?”

Yay! Easy topic! We barely had to put any thought into this one. With the more serious topics, like the ones on Homosexuality in Korea or Bullying in Korean Schools, we really have to reflect for a long time about what we’re going to say. But, with this week’s topic, we felt like PFFT! Just turn on the camera and we’ll start yammering.

Seriously, Korea’s a really freaking cool country when it comes to technology. And we’re technology nerds, so this makes us very happy. Yes, we’re Apple fans as well, and – yes – Korea isn’t very Apple friendly, though it’s gotten a lot better since we got here with many more Apple retailers popping up. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if we own any Samsung products here in Korea. Note to potential Samsung Marketing People reading this blog: send us Samsung stuff. Also, don’t read the next sentence. Actually, we just remembered that our TV is Samsung. Nevermind!

Anyhow, the amount of technology here, and the connectivity of Korea is just overwhelmingly awesome. We mentioned a few of our favourite things in this video, but that’s just scraping the surface. Other awesomeness includes:

1) GPS in every car: It doesn’t come built in, but every car we’ve been in has a GPS monitor thingy on the dashboard. It gives you full directions, monitors your speed and lets you know if you’re going over the speed limit for that road, automatically detects if you’ve gone off course and tells you where to turn instead, blinks and flashes and makes noise if your turn is coming up. Oh, and it plays TV for you as well. Watch the game while you’re driving. No joke. These things should probably be illegal, but aren’t, probably because they’re so awesome.

2) Kickass Cellphone Signal: I have never dropped a call in Korea. NEVER. Rarely ever does the signal go fuzzy. Seriously. Even when we’re on the subway, UNDERGROUND. Do you hear that, Torontonians? We can use our cellphones when we’re on the subway, even if we’re at the bottom of a transfer point, with two other subway lines above us. We never lose signal. Not even a freaking blip. Oh, and people can watch TV on their phones as well. Holy crap-your-pants awesome

3) Robo Vacuums: We don’t have one yet, but we want one. I remember watching the CES this year, and seeing a video about a Samsung vacuum that has a camera built into it, so that it maps your ceiling and knows where it’s going. The video was all like “oooh this is awesome and the future” bla bla blah. Went to the Home Plus nearby the next day and saw it on sale. Old news here, boys and girls. Old news.

4) Bidets: Not a fan of them, personally. Don’t want water spraying up my bum hole. But we’ve seen tons of them here, even in public restrooms. TOILET TECHNOLOGY!

5) Motion Sensor Escalators: Haven’t seen these until we came to Korea. A lot of escalators have motion detectors. They turn off if no-one’s on them. If you’re about to get on one and it’s turned off, you pass a motion-sensor thingy that tells the escalator to turn on. FREAKING BRILLIANT!

6) Elevator Buttons that Turn Off: How is this not a standard around the world? Push a button on the elevator by accident? TURN IT OFF! Doesn’t this just make sense? Hell!

Ok that’s it. Maybe there’s more but we can’t think of it right now. I’m sure the question was expecting an answer more along the lines of what we showed in our Wonderful Treasure Finds series, but we never got the chance to gush about Korean technology. Not sure why Korea doesn’t promote that more. Korea Tourism seems to be all about “Come look at our mountains and temples and history and old traditions and stuff.” Forget that. I want to live in the future, and Korea’s offering me the closest chance at that.

Yeah! Also, there was a long scene that we found hilarious, but too long, and too irrelevant to include in the final cut. We present it to you here: here we are trying to call the cops…on each other.

 

ToFebruary
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  1. Where did you buy your egg? Do you have to have a contract with a company?

  2. Sue Schmitt

    What do Koreans think of tipping your waitress in the United States? If they have visited and experienced by eating in a restaurant here, or maybe been told by another Korean our custom how do they feel? I love the 4g box, and glad we have it here. Yep, keys should be obsolete in the 21st century. So many other alternatives. I’m sure you’ve been notified that cards now can be paid by waving over a box if you have the card capable of doing it.

  3. What are your favorite Korean Variety shows?

  4. OMG the key thing. I totally live in Toronto right now and my dad got that keypad with the code…pad thing Martina was talking about 2 years ago. I feel SO so futuristically superior whenever I go over to a friend’s house and they have to whip out a key to let us in lol  

    And ugh… that hotspot thing… totally wish it was like $10 here… BUT NO. Expensive North American gadgets… pfft

  5. How much cost the “EGG” before the 10$/month extra ?

  6. they have those vacuum robots in america too

  7. i live in ireland and it’s only in korean restaurants that they have the little bells which is a real shame T_T ^_^

  8. Fastest internet in the WORLD?!?!?!?!?
    *gets on plane* SK HERE I COME!!! :D

  9. VBNinja

    Table Bell…AWESOME!!!  Usually when they come to the table to see how everything is…they almost ALWAYS approach while you have a full mouth!!!  HATE that.   Card Waving Payment System…I LOVE the follow-up text message.  Fabulous!

  10. i live in la and in the asian restaurants… there are those buzzer thingy’s but, i never really thought they were that cool because the waiter still come to check up…so…. and they always want tips!!!! i had an asian lady come and ask me(after i left the restaurant) if i left a tip…lol^^
    and we do have hot spots:) you can turn you’re phone into one:) well any way thanks for the video:) i always enjoy them!

  11. Alex Brown

    america sucks at using technology

  12. the only downside about keypad is if the electricity was ever to go out. you could not get in :-/
    Card is pretty cool.

  13. America is a tech chobo. Wootz, picking up vocab from Starcraft :p

  14. awkwardturtlesuknowsit

    Okay now visiting my relatives in Korea sounds like an extremely good idea all of a sudden. I really want to go back to Korea.

  15. *sounds of intense weeping seeping through internet* Guise……I knew you already had the fastest internet in the entire PLANET, but now you’re waving your hotspot…..egg…..*pulls mind out of gutter* and my inner evil Gremlin is coming forth. D’: COME ON AMERICA! GET WITH IT!  PLEEEEASE!!! argh. The hotspots we can get here (as far as I know) are still way to expensive for me to handle. (my sis has one….and the internet kinda sucks on it) Anyways……*offers watery congrats on your new favorite toy*

  16. we have those escalator thingy’s at pearson…as for cell signals in the subway, there’s been speak of it, dunno if it’s gonna come through though

    sorry to my fellow torontonians, but seoul makes toronto look like, how do i put this lightly, a third-world city (and an overpriced one at that…got the shock of my life when i found out that it just cost me 2$ to take a bus to a city outside seoul the same distance hamilton is from TO)

  17. Oanh Trinh

    they do have the bells in yhis koren restaurant in north America

    • awkwardturtlesuknowsit

      Some restaurants do. If the most of the people at the resturant speak Korean fluently/ Korean is there first langauge than there is a bigger chance that they will have them. I’ve seen quite a lot of resturants (Korean obv) with the bell thingy at Dallas (KoreanLandWorld in North America. Also awesome place to find Korean noms and talk to mah fellow Koreans Holla!… Awkward)

  18. Not really a product per se, but something that will be VERY hard to go back to when I return to the US next month: CHECKS (or as some people spell it, cheques).  They don’t use them here in Korea.  If you want to give someone money, you just go to your ATM and transfer money into his/her account.  You can even do it online.  How awesome is that?

  19. BB cream just showed up in Vancover or (i havent looked in richmend well enough) its by Garnier don’t know if its a trial to see how well it will do or if it has been a round a while….random thought 

  20. wow!! you guys already have 4G mobile Hotspot in Korea!! Hong Kong is just introducing 4G network and the “egg” is still only up to 3.5G!! Does it include unlimited data usage?
    I have seen that bell before in a Japanese restaurant called “Watami”, a casual style Japanese & Western restaurant… Some local restaurants in Hong Kong have developed a system…Each table have a small menu stand with buttons on it and each button refer to specific service t— add water, taking food order, check!

  21. basically almost every ASIAN countries have all the cool products that u mentioned… ASIAN RULES!!!! have i’m from Malaysia and we, ASIAN are so futuristics!!!

  22. Anonymous

    I’m from Montreal, and last year I went to Berlin for two weeks to study german. Guess what, the keys to my little studio were just like those awesome magnetic keys =0 It was so small I could put it in my pocket, and it was working with all three doors of the block I was living in! Omg when I came back to Canada I was so angry when I found back my stupid (yet enormous) keychain –” Soooo big, with 4 keys looking all the same, and so noisy! First reaction? : “aish chincha…”

  23. Martina I loved your hair and make up this episode!!! SO PRETTY!!! :)

  24. they have bells in America! && they now have that card swiper thing for like american express i think or some company! i’m not sure about that hotspot thing but i want one!

    What are the style trends in korea? 

  25. The bell thingy is in Korean restaurants in LA and in different parts of America.

  26. When I was in Tampa they had that bell thingy in Applebees!!

  27. stardustyuri

    I miss my PHONE~!!!
    Had a Lollipop (yes Big Bang influence my decision ^ ^)  The self activating alarm for personal defense, being able to self-call to get out of awkward situations, ability to program what time a text will be sent… and it was CUTE~~
    why can’t phones here do that?? Korea makes 1/2 our phones it seems anyways.

  28. As another commenter already said, it’s very similar to Japan (and I’m pretty sure we have the egg-thingie because I think I saw advertisements for it), but sometimes, when those things aren’t there, I get really flustered. Family restaurants without a bell? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? CALL SOMEONE? I really wonder why some of these things haven’t been implemented back in Europe already…
    The thing that always gets me back in Germany is the trains. In Tokyo, the doors open automatically, in Berlin you have to press a button. I’d stand in front of it for 5 seconds, with people coming up behind me, until I’d remember to press it. Awkward.

  29. Ahh.. wish we had table bells in England, the service would be a lot quicker.

  30. kawaii_candie

    wow, we have everything else you mentioned in Japan, but it’s my first time hearing about the “egg” thing. that’s REALLY cool!

    i loled a bit about your story of getting locked going home. my retarded technology moment is when i went home and i was standing in front of a store, waiting for the door to open, til i realized it wasn’t an automatic door… lol. in japan, there are automatic doors everywhere :p

  31. Ugh! Korea sounds so high tech I wanna live there! Seriously here in Massachusetts…we are so stuck in the past we don’t have any of this aside from the portable 4g hotspot thing…but i think it’s pretty expensive right about now. =/

  32. the bell thing is in quite a few restaurant in my area (korean restaurant lol)… yeah i think they brought it over from korea.

    The bank card thing, they’re working on it, there’s quite a bit of different bank in america where it’s very hard to unite them all together (I mean some place still doesn’t take certain cards, it’s pretty crazy).

    The little 4g thing, the tech savy people just use their phone and tether (that device is essentially the same thing but it’s got more output), 10 bucks a month in korea is essentially about 20 in the US since the salary is roughly 1/2 on average, which is still really good, people here pay around 20-30 for internet on their phone…

    all of which, i think the 4g device is very useful if there’s no bandwith cap (aka you don’t have to get internet for the home, just use that little suckka, 10 bucks a month is hella cheap)…

    a lot of the stuff in korea is more advance because it’s easier to run new wires and tech in a country where the area is roughly 1/100 the size of the US (your next example is japan, they’re pretty high tech too :))

  33. Yeah, I’m a big fan of the bank card capabilities.  For some of the stuff here in Korea, I can’t imagine why we don’t have some of that stuff back in the US.
    Also, I did a internet speed test of my broadband here and showed my tech-geek friends; they were super jealous.  And yes, South Korea officially has the world’s fastest internet.  I won’t be able to get over that if/when I move back to the US.

    Does anybody know how to get the 4G Egg and how to add it onto your current phone plan in South Korea?  I really want one so I can FaceTime with my friends and family when I’m out in the middle of East Field Jesus Nowhere.

  34. Here in Brazil (aside of what I’ve already replied to someone xD) I can talk on the subway (actually, it depends on which company you use), BUT sometimes I’m home and it goes fuzzy FUUU

  35. Anonymous

    When I was in Japan they had most of this stuff….except for the EGG!!! That would have been so friggin helpful!!! They have no wifi in Starbucks unless you are a Softbank customer….grrr…..on another note the bidets scared me….o-O….honestly though the waitress/waiter thing was the best thing ever….I could just sit back and chill and not have any annoying person come over and ask me crap while I had food in my mouth….beautiful….

  36. in all the restaurants in Saudi Arabia have bells but not table bells they are wall bells XD 

  37. i cant live with out the she side buttons on the elevator 

  38. I like the table bells, but my experience over the past 3 months here never had the waiter leave you alone waiting in the back.  They often not-so-discretely watch you from a distance and snatch up your drink to refill when it falls to 1/4 full.  Great service, especially with no tip, but take some getting used to.

  39. thatssumgoodcurry

    People have probably already mentioned this, but we do have phones that people can watch TV on, and robo-vacuums.(in America at least) Robo-vacuums have been around for quite awhile, although they don’t map out your ceiling, instead they use motion-sense technology.

    On another note, I concur, Korea is very technologically advanced and amazing. But…does it have beef jerky or ranch? XD

  40. Anonymous

    A couple years ago my family and I were eating at a really nice resturant in Chicago and there were a few priviate booths that had a buzzer to get the waiter’s attention.

  41. I live in Brazil and here have tables’ bell! It is so amazing no? Unlike it is in Canada, where you can die waving your hand to someone come and take your order. So the bell is something very useful.

    Btw, I didn’t get this werid key thing you talked about… 

  42. Anonymous

    America have the same thing here, but it’s called an Aircard. Also the Wifi hot spot in the phone now. Anyone can use it if you have the password. The aircard is like USB, and it charges your phone bill like your egg. Is that what it is called?

  43. That bank card is similar to the card in Hong Kong.. Whenever we take a ride in the bus we just wave it in the machine. And the card in HK is called octopus.. O.O

  44. Anonymous

    The calgary airport has sensor escalators! they don’t turn off, but they go extra slow, so when you walk up to it your like “… I might miss my flight if i take that…” but then it goes normal speed when you get on! keke just noticed that the other day XD

    Dude, that is why I hate eating out, people(waitfolk) are always like “botherbotherbotherbother” and i’m just like “Can I eat my food with friends without being interrupted by strangers?!?!?”OHMYGOSH! I knew that they had that swipey technology with the phones, BUT CARDS TOO?!?!?! that is awesome.According to the UN, (S) Korea has the best internet.. IN THE WORLD!! I would totally go for the internet. My brother who is a computer dork read an article about it a couple years ago and was like “OMYGOSH I WANNA GO THERE!!” and I was like “me too”

  45. Anonymous

    The number keypad is in Ontario too. I’ve seen it in some houses in Ottawa. It’s awesome, the only problem is if the batteries are dead and you don’t have a key. Then it just makes a weird noise and you’re locked out. :(

  46. they have the table bell in Gengis Khan restaurant in Markham :)

  47. Further to the comment about cleaning robots, this is the best commercial for robots/why Korea still needs teachers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc1uAos_uQU 

  48. I wish we had table buttons. That way you could also get the attention of the server that is standing in the back laughing at you while you’re choking to death because you ran out of iced tea halfway through your meal and they just up and went on break or something. (OK, I’m done ranting now, Hee) The bank card thing would also rock…alot.

  49. They have those table bells at Korean Restaurants in Annandale, VA! I wondered what it was!

  50. Anastasia Kircheva

    waawwwww so much different than north america and europe……wow….but in canada the 4G internet just got on the market and costs a lot ( esspecially with rogers….T.T ) and everythiign is very well thought thorugh :)

  51. Anonymous

    can you guys do the cinnamon challenge? pweeeeeeeez. 

  52. Like someone else said, the restaurant call buttons are in our local Korean restaurants too, though I’ve only used it once because we’re extremely patient… and sometimes shy. xD;;
    We loved the motion-sensored escalators, and I like that some buses ran on electricity. I’d love to see these everywhere~

  53. I went to Taiwan recently and my uncle also had this huge GPS that we were watching TV on. Definitely not in *every* car, but I thought it was new and interesting. They’ve probably had it in Korean for longer though…

  54. Laurana1

    This all sounds so awesome… I really wish we had all these things here too! 

    I have seen the table bell, but as everyone said it’s in a Korean restaurant. When I went with friends before, we were scared to press the button because we thought it might be like an emergency situation bell and were waiting for the waiter to come and check on us. xD Now I’ll be able to press the button guilt-free!

    Now I wonder if I’m stupid to tip there? It is a Korean restaurant, but in the US we tip……

  55. I’m sorry if I missed someone else asking, but where did you get the Wifi egg?  That seems like it’d be the most useful thing ever. 

    • ConceptVBS

      You can purchase them in carrier stores. If you live in the US, you can buy them from all the major cell phone service providers. It will be expensive though so be warned.

  56. There’s a few places here in Texas that have the table bell too.

  57. Anonymous

    I live in Ktown and the restaurant buttons are common… in korean places. LOL
    There are keypads for doors, but they are expensive and are not easy to find or limited brands available. The little mobile wifi thing is expensive for what it is AND in most cases, not unlimited. Average about $50US for less than 5GB/month.
    The elevator thing seems to be in newer ones in the last 5-10 years, but a lot of people don’t know that.
    I want a Roomba, but my dog would attack it guaranteed. 

    Great vid!

  58. I saw that table bell thing when I went to Japan, too.  It’s amazing how much it improves the experience for everyone—employees and diners alike.  My dad was all excited, saying he was going to make a version to sell in the U.S. and become a millionaire.  

    I think one of the main problems is, besides the tipping culture (which is crazy…just pay your employees a living wage, dangit!), I feel that Americans would just become further empowered jerks if given table bells.  Maybe you polite Canadians could handle it, but I can see a bunch of customers on a power-trip just ringing their table bells every two minutes to complain about something.  If everyone could be mature and not act like two-year olds, though, I’d love to see table bells at every restaurant I go to.

    Bidets are awesome!  I remember (again in Japan) my first reaction to a robo-toilet was “NOT SURE IF WANT,” but then I ended up realizing that they’re so much nicer than just using TP.

    And as far as the phone signal goes, I know that where I live (Washington D.C. area) we *can* get signals on the subway, BUT—and it’s a big but (ha!)—you can only get phone service if you’re on Verizon.

    With the electronic keypad, I dunno…I guess it’s nice in the sense that you can’t lose your keys, but at the same time, you have no control over who has access to your domicile if the password gets out—and no way of knowing that your security is compromised until it’s too late.  I figure the best way to stay safe would be to regularly change the passcode.  I suppose there’s not a whole lot of breaking & entering going on in Korea, though, so that’s not a huge concern for you.

    I’m also curious about the motion-activated escalators.  The thing I’d wonder about is if the constant starting and stopping results in more stress on the escalator than simply running it 24/7.  The energy savings are nice, of course.  I suppose engineers probably already thought of this stuff, anyhoo.

    Anyway, enough of me blabbin’.  Keep the videos coming!

  59. “And there are wolves after me.”

    I loved that Simpsons episode.  High-five for you guys and your awesome Simpson’s quotes.

  60. lol those key thingeys are used for my friends work, when they need to clock in for beginning work :P

  61. Anonymous

    GPS is a little more necessary in Korea then say Canada. Korea doesn’t have a lot of sense in urban development planning, or at least it didn’t until very recently. Building numbering is really random ~_~ I believe it was explained that they number buildings based on when they were built. So on a street, you could have 3, 56, 900, 7, 22.
    Also the GPS units tells you when you’re about to hit a photo radar trap!!! So you can go speeding down the highway until you get close to a radar, then you’d just slow down to the proper speed. Then, once you’ve passed it, ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM~~~~

    • I don’t know where you got your information from, it’s wrong. Buildings are neither randomly numbered nor based on when they were built. If two buidings side by sid were built at the same time, they have the same number? We’re not that dumb. I wonder how Koreans get anywhere without ever getting lost. I’m sorry that whoever “expalained” it to you didn’t explain enough so you could understand it. I’m going to be honest with you - I feel a little offended by your comment that we don’t have sense in urban developement. Obviously I don’t know where you’re from, your city or town might have been designed by some urban planners one day. Cities and villages were developled and exapnded more spontaneously over time in Korea since we have a long history of habitation. Will you say the same thing about a city in Europe?
      And, yes! Koreans use GPS only to evade laws. What else do you need it for?

  62. Table bells! for so long after i came back from japan i kept pushing a ghost table bell at restaurants much to my dismay. I couldn’t get used to the bidets either but i loved the ones that could play music and stuff.

  63. Suggestion, this is awesome martina and simon. I don’t know if Korea has a lot of awesome thing on their country.
    You should wanking and tell us what the coolest technology that maybe you never know in Canada. Because i lived in USA and never found some of your info either.

  64. That was a really good question!  All the fun things you can get in Korea… must have them!  XD

  65. Anonymous

     Aww! Jealous! Now, My desire to visit S.Korea is much bigger!
    Soo. We are talking about technology in Korea. so.. how much cost e.g. iPad, iPhone and others popular stuffs there. Are these things cheaper than in US, Canada or Europe?
    Thank you for answer – in advance.  ^-^

    • Technology is actually not cheaper.  We thought camera gear would be cheaper here, but here and in Japan it’s actually more expensive.  Also, if you want to buy it online cheaper back home, the import tax is crazy expensive.  The only thing slightly cheaper we’ve noticed are apple products because apple has fixed prices worldwide and Korea gives you the price (+tax) all in one base price, so if you convert that price, sometimes you’ll save a bit of money in the conversion.

      • Hey guys! Quick technology question. I want to get an iPad to take around Korea for the year I am going to be there. I am leaving next Tuesday! yee-haw! Should I buy it here or in Korea? Or are there cooler tablety things I can buy there? Help please

        • Oh and here being NYC. Also, maybe I should wait until the iPad mini comes out and just buy it in Korea? These gadgets are kinda pricey so I don’t want to completely empty my pockets

  66. wow i loved this video! tourists from S.Korea must think we’re in the stone age still when they come visit the US. tsk tsk tsk. I wanna live in the future!!! >.<

  67. kudos to simonandmartina (and spudgy) you guys should get award from the Pres of Korea or something because i don’t know any one that promotes another country (not their own native country) so much like you guys!!!!!! u rok!

  68. Do you mind if I ask what bank you use?  I’ve been with Standard Charter for the last year or so and have had nothing but problems with them.  I was thinking of switching to IBK in the next week.

  69. I want the last product…..so awesome!!!! They have something like that here in Canada but its expensive, and you will probably end up paying extra. cause the phone companies r crooks.

  70. The…700s!! LOL. Love you guise. <3

  71. hane_no_tsubasa

    We have bankcards (or bankkort, as we say..) in sweden too! :) It’s really convenient!

  72. punkyprincess92
    punkyprincess92

    OH!!!!!!!!! is THAT the bell Key lied to Taemin about at the coffee shop?!?!!! i most definitely think it is (i think)
    excuse me but i think Key is very important!!! (sorry i had to be stupid)
    and i knew South Korea had the fastest internet in the world cos Onew said it!!! i seriously thought he was being his weird self but it’s true!!! (as you already know)

  73. Ugh, you’re right about the expensive hotspot devices (in the US anyway.) On a daily basis I sell Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. I also handle a crap ton of the prepaid companies. For a hotspot device on a 2yr contract it’s limited use to certain amounts of MB or GB per month and is ridiculously expensive. One of the prepaid companies offers a MiFi device also but you can get that one with unlimited data for 50$/month. Only kicker there is that after about 2-3 GB, it slows down significantly. Now here is the real drag about it where I live…. there is no 4G in my city yet. Soon, but not yet. This is what I have to deal with daily. Selling expensive devices with expensive plans to a poor city that can’t even use their “investment” to it’s full potential.  

  74. Then you’re lucky the waiters hover…Because here in Germany I never ever see any…If you don’t tell them what you want the minute they ask….of they go to be never seen again…-.-

    And I totaly want that internet thingy *.*…Just bought something similar, where you can put a mobil phone sim card in (or from mobile Internet thingys, like I did)…great…really awsome…untill I found out that those awfully nice (….grrr) people from vodafone charged me more because it was out of my “Home area”…What the heck?!….
    I lost all trust in the humanity of mobile phone/network operators… T.T

    • Tell me about it! I’m always getting reprimanded for the way I sell phones. For me it’s common sense. Don’t sell a service someone can’t afford. Don’t leave out the devices operation details, especially when it leads to cost concerns. Be explicit in the details for return and cancellation of services. And the most important, DON’T sell the consumer a product they don’t need. Each person’s life is different and thus their needs are different as well. For me, it doesn’t do any good to sell something that will be returned or to sell through false pretenses and get a complaint. UNFORTUNATELY, the companies don’t care. If I’m not selling the most and getting the most from the customer… whether they can afford it or not, then I’m not doing my job. Likewise if I’m getting a lot of complaints or returns, I’m not doing my job. 

      There really is no happy medium for consumers or the sales representatives. We all just get screwed. 

  75. Anonymous

    We’re getting the beginnings of a universal swipe card system too! It’s called “Paypass” and so far the only machines that take paypass are the same machines that take regular credit and debit cards. They just have an extra top to recognize paypasses Probably why I’ve never seen anyone in Canada use it yet. 

    (A combined data + phone plan is about $70 here ….. on contract. And a pay-as-you-go of data transfer of 500 mbs a month for an iPad is $25.) Canada is so behind…

    I’m so jelly of your 4G egg!  How much data transfer can you get for $10 a month?

    • only mastercard does paypass, tho. and only at selected places. and REALLY UNFORTUNATELY tim hortons only allows what they call “debit” from mastercard and no other service. ugh. which is why i spend my money at starbucks….they have debit.
      can’t wait until everything goes paypass, tho. that’d be the best for busses and taxis!!! no more trying to dig up twoonies and loonies!!

      oh, and i know some phones can do hotspots, too….but we’re so far behind in the internet world….everything is slow and costs a fortune!! :(

  76. Anonymous

    Table bells would be AWESOME!!!  As far as I know we don’t have those here and we do have 4G hotspots but they are like unreal to pay for! :(

  77. oh…. and Party Motels that have swimming pools and errr wtf pole dancing POLES in them… and jimjilbangs… and…

  78. I envy your cellphone connections… A few years back, one of our bigger telephone companies had TV adds for: OH, now we can call each other from everywhere, even the middle of the wilderness (with the scene of a man in the middle of nowhere, calling his wife).

    Bull…

    Every midsummer I go to a friend’s summercottage. She has two mountains near, which block all connections. In short, there is one small hill you can call from. And I use this so mirculous connection they have.

    Not to mention train tunnels (only Stockholm has subway that I know of, so I haven’t tested).

    This brings me to the fact, i wish my city had subways, but sadly my city is also built like Amsterdam. Designed by them and sinking because of the close sea-connections.

  79. Anonymous

    Ooh we have table bells here in California… but only at Korean restaurants. Lol. 

  80. Anonymous

    omg the cellphone signal sounds awesome! There were soooo many times that I went in London underground and couldnt text/receive the text from my friend, simply because I was under the ground! One obvious problem we had was if you’re taking your friend on a London trip, they don’t really know the way around, and you forgot to make sure what to do in case we got lost…..then GAME OVER. We’re probably gonna be running around in London underground aimlessly cos there are sooo many stations.

    and

    Elevator buttons that turns off! YES! WHY CANT PEOPLE MAKE THIS THING UNIVERSAL! I hate when some asshole went into elevator and decided to press every button on there then you would have to wait for it to go floor after floor after floor…..

  81. Damn it you guys are too awesome & ridiculously funny! Not sure if you guys remember me but I’m the Asian Australian who chased you two down the street at Hongdae a few weeks ago so excited to actually bump into you >.< Anyway, I second the point about table bells (I call it the 'Yogi-yo button", also lockers at EVERY station – WHY isn't this introduced? Also my chingoo's apartment has taps in her kitchen sink that PULLS OUT like a shower nozzle loch ness monster-like. One can shower IN THE KITCHEN! Asssa~!

    • I remember you! :D Yeah, we love the lockers at every station too, but I’m pretty sure they got gutted in North America (and maybe England…help me guise?) due to bomb threats and other suspicious things you can leave in them.  I remember in Toronto when they got rid of most of the trash cans at the busiest subway platforms due to safety threats too. Sucks. I don’t know if they’re back or not.  ?

  82. Thanks for sharing the awesomeness~~! I wish we have those keypads on doors in Australia, I forget my keys too often and end up waiting outside for ages…and the only table bells I’ve seen are only in korean restaurants too >.< and the waving card thingy for ANYTHING, that's so convenient.

  83. Have to say that I loved the bell thingys in restaurants when I visited Seoul. 

    I come from Finland where the waiters don’t get tips and don’t hover, but the problem is that u can’t find them. Getting the bill and paying takes like forever. Only until recently they started to come by and ask how’s the food, but other than that u have to search for them for many many many many minutes..Oh and I still have dreams about the internet speed. We felt the page downloads even before you press enter :D We have quite fast Internet in Finland, but nothing, NOTHING close to Korea! :D

  84. Aw, I’ve been to S. Korea twice & we never had a table bell. But then, we were there in a big group (our dojang went together) or we were in places like Dunkin’ Donuts where we didn’t need one. I love that idea!

  85. Anonymous

    Ok, how do I get one of those 4G hot spot contraptions you were talking about?? I’m in Korea and I’d love to get one! 

  86. Jessica Stebbing

    I’m living in Japan from the states, and we have those bell ringers too!! They’re soooo AMAZING…I wish the states would get them lol.. Also..maybe I’m stingy but I kind of love the whole “no tip” culture heheheh :p 

  87. Here, if you want a better cellphone signal, you have to switch to providers that charge you dickens! D: A lot of hotspots are coming out here too! But, they have limited internet access. As far as I know, I can pay $10 for 2GB worth of internet… A MONTH. >:U If I wanted more access to unlimited, I know i have to pay at least $50 a month. I’m here assuming you guys have unlimited access for $10 per month. If so, I am jealous.Hehe, a lot of the things you mentioned (like debit card beeper-thingy, GPS in cars, and robo vacuums) have already come out, but they are still not as popular and VERY expensive.OH! And one thing I did notice in Kdramas since 2009, is that you press a button to turn on your car. *-*! I know you still have to use a key, but I think it’s so cool that you can just PUSH A BUTTON to turn on the engine. =w= They’re barely coming out from what I understand in the U.S. Still cool. Yeah.

    • the toyota prius has a fob that you have to have on you to get into your car and then you just press a button to start – no keys. i think there’s a number pad to unlock the door, but you can’t start the car unless you have the special fob on you…tho you can just keep it in your pocket or purse. but the prius is expensive and hybrid cars don’t last all that long here and are expensive to fix.  

  88. hahah i just love you guyz i wish to meet someone that can be playful and smart as you guyz:D so funny and just the cutest together :)

  89. Back when I was in college (in Ireland) our apartment had the magnetic door key (they were called “fobs” for some reason. Kind of neat, but once or twice it wouldnt work, and  we’d have to go to the super and get it….I dunno, reprogrammed(?!) it? but yeah pretty neat. 

    I hadn’t realised korea wasn’t super apple friendly, though it makes sense. I was going to get an iphone over there (i move to bucheon in less than a month)  but it’s so confusing to figure out if it will work in the US/Canada/Ireland afterwards. le sigh.

  90. I loooooooove the bells in restaurants, too! And my T-Money card, which is kind of similar to simons bank card, ’cause it’s for all those extra-features. Paying the subway and taxi, ect. :D but you have to transfer money on it in a subway-station first.

  91. all those things r so osm! oh but we have motion sensor escalators in Montreal too ^^

  92. Hi from Ontario! So we now sort of have the magic wave-your-card technology. Some credit cards have it now, and they call it “pay pass”. I don’t think you can use it with a debit card yet though… 

  93. OMG  ~ i lose my keys so many times! that door thing would be perfect for me

  94. If he’s shopping he wants anything apple – but he’s more interested in seeing cool stuff he hasn’t seen before and that’s what we as tourists might not find. He spent hours in a components mall in Shanghai – I darent take him to Tokyo. 

  95. You know, I would SERIOUSLY love it if they had elevator buttons that turned off if pressed again. Where I work there are 12 floors (I work on the 10th floor), and every now and then, I accidentally hit a wrong button (or two if I’m seriously worn out from the day and I leaving work late.) Then I just sit there thinking I’m an idiot for not paying attention as the doors open to empty floors and take forever to close again.

  96. Allison Williams

    As a fellow Torontonian, yes I heard that. And yes, god yes, I wished our subways had such awesome signal!!

  97. Don’t forget the ‘cell phone wallet’ technology that’s been standard in Korea for years now, but is being promoted in the States right now by Google as “the standard of the future”. :p

  98. Mary Lugo

    You Are Funny xD Greetins from Monterrey Mexico =)

  99. Hi guys – visiting Seoul soon with a technogeek boyfriend. Any advice on places he should go to shop/coo in awe at strange electrical things? Personally I’m off to the Cat Cafe. 

  100. In Romania we have the card that can be used at the subway :D

  101. Anonymous

    How do you guys get a working visa when you are not teaching anymore?

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